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Thread: NPFMC Still not balanced

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    Default NPFMC Still not balanced

    Governor Makes Nominations for North Pacific Fishery Management Council

    March 15, 2010, Juneau, Alaska - Governor Sean Parnell forwarded his nominations of Duncan Fields of Kodiak and James Hubbard of Seward for consideration by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce for seats on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC). The governor also forwarded Sam Cotten of Eagle River and Matt Moir of Kodiak as alternate nominees.

    "I have confidence that these nominees will serve with the best interest of Alaska's resources, coastal communities and Alaskans at heart," said Governor Parnell. "Continuing our tradition of sound fisheries management is essential to protecting Alaska jobs and families who rely on these resources."

    The North Pacific Fishery Management Council is one of eight regional councils established by the 1976 Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act, later renamed the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, to oversee management of the nation's marine fisheries. The council has jurisdiction over 900,000 square miles of ocean from three to 200 miles off Alaska's shores, and the primary responsibility for managing pollock, cod, halibut, sole and other groundfish.

    Duncan Fields, of Kodiak, is completing his first term on the NPFMC. He has been an active fisherman since 1960 and also serves as a technical advisor for the Gulf of Alaska Coastal Communities Coalition (GOAC3), the vice president of natural resource and community development for Old Harbor Native Corporation, and a natural resource consultant for Shoreside Consulting. He served on NPFMC Advisory Panel from 2001-2007, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the United Fishermen of Alaska. He earned a bachelor's degree with a comprehensive social science major from Cedarville College, and a juris doctorate from the University of Oregon School of Law.

    James Hubbard, of Seward, has been a fisherman since the 1970s and participates in the halibut, sablefish, Pacific cod, and other groundfish fisheries throughout the entire Gulf of Alaska. With his wife, Rhonda, he is a co-owner of J&R Fisheries, which markets the seafood products caught and processed aboard his freezer-longliner, the F/V Kruzof. He currently serves on the Research Advisory Board to the International Pacific Halibut Commission. Hubbard is also a member of the United Fishermen of Alaska and several other commercial fishing organizations.

    Sam Cotten, of Eagle River, is completing his first term on the NPFMC. He is a resource analyst for the Aleutians East Borough and has significant experience in Alaska as a sport fisherman and commercial fisherman. Cotten is a former director of the Commercial Fishing and Agriculture Bank, and a former member of the Alaska State Legislature.

    Matthew Moir, of Kodiak, is the general manager of Alaska Pacific Seafoods, where he has worked since 1987. He is a current member of the NPFMC Advisory Panel. Moir is also a member of the Alaska Fishery Development Foundation, the Kodiak Fishery Advisory Committee, the Kodiak Island Borough Fisheries and Oceanic Research Board, and is an advisor to the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission. He earned a bachelor's degree in natural science from St. John's University and a master's degree in food technology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

    The Magnuson-Stevens Act requires governors of specific coastal states to provide nominations for each vacancy, from which the Secretary of Commerce makes a final appointment.

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    Interesting.

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    The MSA sets forth specific laws and criteria for how the Council is to be made up. Those laws include apportionment of commercial and recreational fisheries. There is no authority for halibut charters (Captain T, 270ti, etc.) to represent those recreational fisheries, or that recreational fisheries have equal apportionment with commercial fisheries.

    The Secretary must submit a report on the actions taken to ensure balanced apportionment is achieved to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate, and the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries of the House of Representatives. The report must meet specific criteria of apportionment.

    Clearly recreational fishermen are represented by not only a charter operator, but by a host of public agencies. This type of apportionment meets lawful criteria and has been approved by the House, Senate, and Secretary.

    Here is the Council membership makeup. The "bold" are non-commercial fishery. The "bold underlined" are voting non-commercial fishery. The commercial fishery influence is in "blue":

    Charter Business Owner
    NOAA
    Alaska Department of Fish and Game
    Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
    Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
    Yukon Delta Fisheries Development Association (CDQ Program)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service
    Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission
    United State Coast Guard
    Office of Marine Conservation Bureau of Oceans & Int'l Environ. & Scientific Affairs

    Commercial Fishermen (Alaska)
    Catch/Processor Consultant (Washington)
    Fisheries Consultant Aleutain Borough
    Fisheries Consultant/Attorney/Commercial Fishermen
    Processor

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    So basically 5-1 in favor of commercial fishing?

    Still not balanced.......

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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    So basically 5-1 in favor of commercial fishing?

    Still not balanced.......
    the way I read it theres no VOTING commercial fisherman influence (I find it strange the people that put food on the plates of mass humans don't have a vote)
    The commercial charter fisherman have a vote and they put fish on the plates of the elite few

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    fullbush,

    All five of the "blue" are voting. 11 out of the 15 vote. 4 are non-voting.

    A list of the voters vs non voters is found http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/npfmc/membe...membership.htm

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    Yes, the one's I listed in blue vote. Most of the work on initiatives is done by the entire Council, long before anything goes to the 11 voting members. 9 of those 15 Council members represent management or government agencies, many from several states representing resource interests including those of sportfishermen. One of the criteria for Councilship is experience, knowledge, and understanding of commercial fisheries.

    Not sure what "5-1 in favor of commercial fishing" means.

    The NPFMC's obligation is to oversee almost a million square miles of Alaska's cod, pollock, flatfish, mackerel, sablefish, and rockfish fisheries in the Gulf, Bearing, and Aleutians...trawlers, long-lingers, pot fishermen, etc. With the exception of halibut, most of Alaska's other fisheries, including sportfisheries, are managed by the State (salmon, crab, shrimp, herring, etc). The fact is, Alaska's fisheries are hugely commercial fisheries. The Council is apportioned to reflect that, as approved by the Secretary, House, and Senate. It would make no sense to apportion Alaska's fisheries for halibut sportfishing charters. Although they do have a seat. Remember, "commercial fishing" means a diversity of users, fisheries, and representation. Lumping them together as one against charters is an inaccurate perception.

    Also not sure what "not balanced" means. Apportionment is not the same as equally balanced. "Apportionment" language is used in the law for a specific reason, as Alaska's fisheries are not balanced between commercial and sport. For obvious reasons, they are apportioned.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    fullbush,

    All five of the "blue" are voting. 11 out of the 15 vote. 4 are non-voting.

    A list of the voters vs non voters is found http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/npfmc/membe...membership.htm
    DOH!!!! another good reason I need to keep my yap shut

    Excellent synopsis Grampy!

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    Yes the comm fish fleet in Alaska is HUGE. We all know that. But, sportfishermen, whether resident or non resident, guided or non guided, doesn't stand a chance at getting a bigger piece of the pie when things are stacked against them in such a fashion.

    I'm curious, how can they do science based management when such a large percentage of of the voting members of the council have such a huge conflict of interest?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti
    But, sportfishermen, whether resident or non resident, guided or non guided, doesn't stand a chance at getting a bigger piece of the pie when things are stacked against them in such a fashion.
    The facts don't support that.

    First, with regard to halibut, sportfishermen can already harvest as much of the "pie" as they want. Sportfishermen have no limited allocation, no quotas, and no harvest level guidelines. Their harvests, no matter what they are, will be subtracted from total yield before the commercial fishery's harvest is calculated.

    Second, in area 2C, where you said you operate your halibut charter, the commercial harvest was cut over 60% between 2005-2010 (Reference), while charter harvests increased by as much as 206% of harvest levels (Reference). Halibut allocation ("piece of the pie") was shifted from commerical to sport.

    Federal Court has recently confirmed the Council's allocation as fair and equitable under established law.


    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti
    I'm curious, how can they do science based management when such a large percentage of of the voting members of the council have such a huge conflict of interest?
    First, the Coucil looks to the Science and Statistical Committee, Advisory Panels, Plan teams, Staff, and other Committees for management guidenance. These include a multitude of representation, professional expertise, experience, and knowledge.

    Additionally, the NMFS Council was designed so that fisheries management decisions would be made with input from affected stakeholders. The Council meetings are open to the public, and both written and oral public testimony is taken on every issue prior to deliberations and final decisions. Public comments are also taken at all advisory panel and science committee meetings. All actions must comply with the MSA and all other fishery laws.

  11. #11

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    The conflict of interest of having 5 of the 11 counsel members who can vote being influenced by commercial fishing is staggering. I hope that gets changed so that we have a future for sport fishing here in Alaska and on the west coast of the USA.

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    I also hear the sky is falling, and the earth will end in 2013.

    Your hyperbole is pretty amusing. I have absolutely no problem catching more than enough fish, I have more opportunity than I can take advantage of..I can fish every day, all year long if I wanted or could afford to. And any Alaskan or American has the same ability.

    I mean are you planning on fishing 100 miles off of Saint Paul island soon or something? Catching yellowfin sole? Pfftt you go waaayyy over the top.

  13. #13

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    Again, to stay on topic, as the original poster pointed out, the NPFMC is STILL not balanced.

    5 votes out of 11 that are influenced by commercial fishing is not good for Alaskans or the resource. We need balance.

    The guy on the "Kruzof" who sits on the council was featured on Nat Geo. They followed his multi-million dollar longliner out to the Gulf of Alaska and filmed the whales robbing his black cod as they pulled gear.

    If it were reversed and it was 5 Charter operators voting and 1 token commercial fishermen on the council, then what would you say?

  14. #14

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    Yup, Zero conflict of interest with this guy being a voting member of the council...... http://www.jrfisheries.com/productions.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    If it were reversed and it was 5 Charter operators voting and 1 token commercial fishermen on the council, then what would you say?
    Then clearly NMFS would not be fulfilling it's legal obligation under the MSA by violating it's apportionment responsibility. As a result, the Coucil make-up would not be approved by the Secretary, the House, or the Senate. The Council's ability to oversee almost a million square miles of Alaska's diverse cod, pollock, flatfish, mackerel, sablefish, halibut, and rockfish fisheries in the Gulf, Bearing, and Aleutians would be stifled.


    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti
    Again, to stay on topic, as the original poster pointed out, the NPFMC is STILL not balanced.
    One would have to misunderstand the diverse magnitude of Alaska's fisheries, what apportionment means, and disregard established fishery laws, to believe that. Again, it is an inaccurate perception to lump the Council into two groups...commercial vs. sport. First, the Council is dominated by State and Federal agencies, not commercial or sport fish. Second, halibut sportfishing makes up an extremely small portion of Alaska's diverse types of fisheries, species management, and user groups. One could better understand Council make-up by listing all the different types of fisheries the NMFSC is responsible for, the magnitude of their impacts, and the importance of their input and stewardship.

    270ti, this discussion is a re-run. Your issues have been answered, explained, and clarified with facts, over and over. You reject that. Obviously your idea of how the NMFSC should be made up, and it's capacity to manage Alaska's fisheries, is different that what the laws dictate.

    If you are unhappy, my advice to you would be to change those laws, rather than just repeating yourself here over and over. You have every opportunity for participation in the NPFMC process, as well as due process with decisions.

  16. #16

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    Fact: 45% of the votes in the NPFMC are influenced by commercial fishing.

    Fact: 5 > 1


    It's not even close to being balanced. The foxes are watching the hen house. This should be alarming for all people concerned about the future of sport fishing.

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    Fact: The fisheries that the NPFMC manages are virtually all commercial fisheries...

    Pollock, Cod, Flounder, Sabelfish, Rockfish, Herring, Crab, Salmon, Scallop, Halibut, etc....Each is an individually, seperately managed fishery. Each is deserving of representation on the Coucil, because each represents a different user group, different means, and different methods. They are all as diverse and competitive among each other as sportfishing is. It's irresponsible to lump them together as one fishery against sportfishing.

    Fact: The Council is not intended to be "balanced". It is intended to be apportioned, as the law clearly spells out.

    Fact: The intent of the Council is to include input and stewardship from stakeholders of the various fisheries. Those are mostly commercial.

    Fact: Council make-up, apportionment, and any decisions made, must be approved by the Secretary, House, and Senate and meet the requirements of established fishery laws.


    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti
    The foxes are watching the hen house.
    The vast majority of the Council is made up of State and Federal management agencies, and a support group of scientific experts, professionals, and staff. The Council operates under the established laws, and answers to the Secretary, House, and Senate. The Council's activities are transparant, open to public attendance, comment, and participation, even on the Committee level. Any decision is open to due process.


    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti
    This should be alarming for all people concerned about the future of sport fishing.
    The same could be said for sportfishing interests being represented on the Council by charters.

    270ti, repeating yourself at least a half-dozen times, unwilling to discuss the points brought up, is futile. We get it. Again, if you are unhappy, then work to change the laws.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grampyfishes View Post

    Fact: The Council is not intended to be "balanced". It is intended to be apportioned, as the law clearly spells out.
    270ti - Grampy makes a good point with this post. Balance between charter and commercial sectors is not called for in the laws, nor would it make any sense at all when looking at the reality of Alaska's diverse fisheries. Do charters target sole? Do they target Atka Mackerel? Sablefish? Each of these are managed by the council, and each of these are important commercial resources. The idea of "balance" gets bandied about here as though it is written into our Constitution. It's not, nor would it be reasonable to have equal representation from charter influences on a council that predominantly focuses on commercially important species.

    There are legitimate concerns with regards to sport access to halibut, but the council make-up is not the issue as far as I'm concerned.

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    The way they have it set up, there is no way sport fishermen can get a fair shake. Sport fishermen can't get more than 9% of the vote because the 45% of the vote won't let them get a bigger piece of the pie so they can have more than a 9% influence through apportionment. As I've said all along, the fix is in.

    And yes, commercial fishing affects sport fishing. How many halibut and chinook die as bycatch by the draggers trawlers targeting fish that sport fishermen don't target? Sport fishermen also have a right to be concerned about habitat destruction by the comm fish fleet.

    The foxes are watching the hen house. Terrible conflict of interest going on with the npfmc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti
    The way they have it set up, there is no way sport fishermen can get a fair shake.
    Apparantly it's easier to repeat the same thing over and over rather than acknowledge the facts put forth.

    Again, in area 2C, where you said you operate your halibut charter, the commercial harvest was cut over 60% between 2005-2010 (Reference), while charter harvests increased by as much as 206% of harvest levels (Reference). Halibut allocation ("piece of the pie") was shifted from commerical to sport.

    And again, with regard to halibut, sportfishermen can already harvest as much as they want. No "unfair shake" there. Sportfishermen have no limited allocation, no quotas, and no harvest level guidelines. Their harvests, no matter what they are, will be subtracted from total yield before the commercial fishery's harvest is calculated.


    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti
    Sport fishermen can't get more than 9% of the vote because the 45% of the vote won't let them get a bigger piece of the pie so they can have more than a 9% influence through apportionment.
    You've repeated that 7 times now, never acknowledging the facts.

    The Council's ability to oversee almost a million square miles of Alaska's diverse cod, pollock, flatfish, mackerel, sablefish, halibut, and rockfish fisheries in the Gulf, Bearing, and Aleutians would be stifled. The objective of the Council to include input and stewardship from stakeholders of the various fisheries, almost all commercial, would not be accomplished. And clearly NMFS would not be fulfilling it's legal obligation under the MSA by violating it's apportionment responsibility. As a result, the Coucil make-up would not be approved by the Secretary, the House, or the Senate.


    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti
    And yes, commercial fishing affects sport fishing. How many halibut and chinook die as bycatch by the draggers trawlers targeting fish that sport fishermen don't target?
    There is no shortage of halibut or salmon for sportfishermen. We can take as much halibut or salmon as we want, and the opportunity to do that has been evidenced in our freezers for decades.

    Obviously there's an intent to hijack and digress this thread to "bycatch"...again. For the record, Chinook bycatch has been reduced to the lowest it's been in over a decade (Reference). Halibut bycatch is managed under the Prohibited Species Catch Limit policy. Allowable bycatch is subtracted from the commercial fishery's allowable quota. Less bycatch just means more commercial harvest. It doesn't change what is available for sportfishy either way. It is simply lost yield to the commercial fishery. It is sustainable.

    270ti, if you want to discuss "bycatch", please start another thread, or merge it with the countless one's you've already had. This thread is about the "balance" of the Council.


    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti
    Sport fishermen also have a right to be concerned about habitat destruction by the comm fish fleet.
    Of course we do. That is why we have representation on the NPFM Council, why we have our State and Federal fishery agencies on the Council, and participation throughout it's Advisory Panels and Committees. That is why the Council operates under public transparency, public input at every level, due process, and nothing can be implemented without approval by the people through the Secretary, House, and Senate.


    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti
    The foxes are watching the hen house. Terrible conflict of interest going on with the npfmc.
    You keep repeating that, uwilling to acknowledge the facts.

    Again, the vast majority of the Council is made up of State and Federal management agencies, and a support group of scientific experts, professionals, and staff. The Council operates under the established laws, and answers to the Secretary, House, and Senate. The Council's activities are transparant, open to public attendance, comment, and participation, even on the Committee level. Any decision is open to due process.

    270ti, we've heard your opinions over and over. If you are unhappy, work to change the laws.

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